One year I got the brilliant idea to follow the public school calendar in our homeschool. It was a giant fiasco which encouraged us to return to homeschooling year round. I mistakenly thought that it would be easier for us to do Logan’s high school years in a more traditional format. Why I thought this when nothing traditional has ever worked for us when it comes to education is beyond me. I really think I got so overwhelmed by the thought of high school that I thought I needed to fit a mold. I don’t know why but homeschooling high school scared me more than starting kindergarten with my children.
Homeschooling year round for us means that we have do lessons for 13 weeks, have a week of finals then take a week off to relax. The only exception to this is from Thanksgiving to the first Monday in January. We take that entire time off from formal lessons because of Thanksgiving, 2 birthdays (one being mine and then Logan’s) and Christmas. It is such a sensory rich time of year which requires extra down time for everyone, most especially Logan with his autism. Now I say we take it off from formal lessons, but I do offer lots of fun activities and readings about the season. It’s my children’s one chance at unschooling for the entire year.
5 Reasons Why Homeschooling Year Round Works For Autism
- No need for constant review
Since the children only get a week off, we don’t need to review previous material before continuing on with the new stuff. Now, if there is some struggle in a specific area, we will backtrack and review as needed. We teach to mastery here in Autismland so there is no moving on until the child learns it.
- It maintains routine
Most children, with or without autism but most especially with, crave order and routine. They claim to love the care free lifestyle but let’s face it, they really want structure. A week off is enough time in our house to recharge without getting antsy. We don’t want to waste valuable learning time helping Logan get regulated because of too much time off.
- We can take days off whenever we need or want to for therapy appointments or field trips without feeling guilty
It’s like having built in grace days. So, when opportunity for fun arises, most likely we can say yes. Not always but most likely. Any autism family knows that there are more factors that go into saying yes than if we can afford the time off.
- We are able to do all the fun experiments and activities that go along with the lesson plans
My kids are visual learners. They retain it better by seeing it done in front of them. This schedule allows us to slow down the pace of the curriculum so that we can accentuate it visually. It also gives us time to do a few of the thousand pins I have on my Pinterest boards.
- Most importantly, it allows us to add lots and lots of community service to our homeschool
I want my children to be servant leaders. To be Jesus to others by serving their needs when they can. The only way they are going to learn this is to do it from a young age alongside their parents. Sort of a teach by example moment. If this is all they learn in our homeschool then I will consider it a success.
Those are my top 5 reasons for homeschooling year round with autism. While this schedule doesn’t work for everyone, it fits our family especially well. That’s really the beauty of homeschooling, right? You get to make the schedule that fits your family. I always love to peek into other homeschools. Thanks for peeking into mine!
What are your reasons for homeschooling year round? If you don’t, why not?
Call me Penny, wife to Michael as well as mom to Logan who has autism and Madison who is pursuing a dance career. Based on my own personal and often difficult experiences with autism, I hope to educate families of children with autism on how to navigate their world from pre diagnosis to adulthood. You can follow our experiences in Autismland in our Facebook group, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and our Facebook page.